Australia's McDonald says Smith can handle India's bouncer barrage

Steve Smith is well-equipped to succeed against any short-ball strategy adopted by the Indians, says Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald.

“They've used that tactic before and [Smith] has done well on it before.” - Andrew McDonald - PRASHANT NAKWE

India is welcome to subject Steve Smith to a bouncer barrage but the batsman is well-equipped to succeed against such strategy, Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald said on Sunday.

Smith was concussed by a short-pitched delivery from Jofra Archer at Lord's last year and was also bounced out several times by New Zealand speedster Neil Wagner last summer.

The top-ranked test batsman can expect similar treatment from India but McDonald is unfazed by the prospect, pointing out that Smith bounced back from the Lord's concussion with a double century at Old Trafford.

'Not a weakness'

“Even in one-day cricket and T20 cricket, he's been able to score runs with that plan being adopted by opponents,” said McDonald.

“So, I don't necessarily see it as a weakness ... they (India) can keep approaching it that way if they want.”

Virat Kohli and his men did try it when Australia played three one-day internationals in India earlier this year, and a repeat of the ploy wouldn't surprise.

ALSO READ | Gavaskar: Australia a different kettle of fish with Smith, Warner

“It's going to be a tactic a lot of bowling units will use against our top-line batters, especially with four men out in one-day cricket,” McDonald said.

“They've used that tactic before and [Smith has] done well on it before. I'm suggesting that plan hasn't necessarily worked to its full effect.”

India and Australia will clash in the first of the three one-day internationals in Sydney on Friday.

They will also play three Twenty20 matches before a four-test series gets underway at Adelaide on Dec. 17.